“Choice” Moments: Hillary’s Political Education

October 20, 2016

In 1965, Hillary Rodham arrived at Wellesley College from a conservative Republican upbringing, a daughter of the Midwest and a fan of the Motown group The Supremes.  “Hillary was not in any way shape or form a radical,” says friend Robert Reich.

But in the tumult of the 1960s that swept across college campuses nationwide, Rodham underwent a political evolution. “She was experimenting,” says biographer David Maraniss, “not just in terms of what kind of hair she wore or what her clothes were, but what she was thinking, whether she was that old Midwestern Methodist girl or something more rebellious.”

By the time of her graduation in 1969, Rodham had changed. “She had become much more political as frankly had most of us,” says Reich. “You couldn’t really go through those years — the civil rights movement and the anti-Vietnam War movement and all the tumult in America and not be affected by it.”

“Hillary’s Political Education” was drawn from FRONTLINE’s reporting for The Choice 2016, filmmaker Michael Kirk and his team’s dual biography of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Since 1988, The Choice has brought viewers in-depth, interwoven biographies of the two major-party U.S. presidential candidates. You can watch an encore presentation on Tues., Nov. 7 at 10 p.m. EST/9 p.m. CST on PBS, or stream the film anytime on the FRONTLINE website.

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